Why Do So Many Guys Flake After One Date?

Name: Mariawoman-going-crazy
Age: 35
City: Brooklyn
State: NY
Comment: Hi, I am wondering if what happens to me is “normal” in the dating world here in NYC.  I am 35, on OKC and I get asked out a lot.  I meet an average of 3 guys per week, which some would consider lucky.  I think I would feel lucky if all I wanted was to go to countless dates with men that 98% of the time I never hear back from.  Is this normal? Do other women experience what I take as rejection??


3 dates a week doesn’t sound abnormal for OK Cupid. It’s a free website. As many people have mentioned in previous threads, OKC attracts a number of time wasters. That site is heavily populated by folks not terribly interested in anything beyond attention or a casual relationship. Hence why you’re getting so much action. I’m going to guess that you’re a quantity over quality person. You go out with pretty much everyone who asks because you like feeling so in demand. OK Cupid is like a fun house mirror in that it provides a distorted view of our desirability and attractiveness. Hate to be the bearing of bad news, but let’s just say that that site isn’t known for attracting men who are terribly picky.

I highly doubt that the majority of men you’re meeting on OK Cupid are actually looking for a relationship.  Getting dates with OKC is beyond easy. Getting quality dates is much, much harder. Many of those guys are taking you out in the hopes of hooking up. When that doesn’t happen they just move on. That would explain a good portion of the rejection that you are experiencing.

The other contributing factor is probably that you’re disappointing these men somehow. Either your profile is too good and full of embellishments or..dun dun DUN! you don’t look like your photos.

While it’s not abnormal to have many one off first dates that lead no where, it is atypical to have that many not lead to a second date. So something is off. Whomever you present online is not translating offline. You should be getting more men following up if you’re having 3 dates a week. So, in addition to meeting a lot of one and doners,  it’s either an issue of inaccurate photos or you’re just not very interesting/engaging. That’s something that a lot of people don’t consider. Everybody thinks they “rock” first dates. Few people actually do. Every person I’ve ever known or heard of who was booking multiple online dates every week always, to me, seemed to have something “off” about them. Either they seemed burnt out on the process or over-anxious or completely desensitized to the process. I think 2 dates a week with two different people is pushing it. More than that and you’re just overloading your mental hard drive. People assume because they get so many dates or have so many people eager to commit to them that that actually means what they think it means. A lot of times it doesn’t. You’d be surprised what people will do and say just to get sex on the regs. Or at all.

I don’t know how to say this without some people feeling as though I am trying to crush their spirit. Dating in Manhattan or in any city where there is an overage of single women to single men is tough. Trying to date in Manhattan as a woman in her mid to late thirties and older is brutal. As harsh as this sounds, the odds are just against us. My suggestion to you, OP, as well as to all the other women in your age range and above is to branch out. Way out. Like Boston or Connecticut or Philadelphia. Or maybe even further. We are just not in demand here. I’m not saying that you should completely count out the men where you live. I’m suggesting that you widen the net.

I will also advise any woman over 35 that is looking for a relationship to rely more heavily on the paid dating sites. Use OK Cupid, as it’s a great way to get dates and get out. Who knows, you might strike gold. But if you really want something serious, OK Cupid is just not the place to go. You are up against it on that site, competing with a lot of women in the same boat.

As for the guys who struggle, all the whining and sad sackery has to stop. Get off the angry man forums. Many of you sound like the 98 pound weakling who just had sand kicked in his face at beach. If you want a certain type of woman, you need to up your game. That means dressing and sounding the part. You can say all you like how unfair it is that women don’t like nice stable guys but deep down you know that’s not true. They just don’t want you. It’s time for you to stop listening to all the other losers at love and break free from that pack. Maybe it would serve you well to look elsewhere, too. Either that or suck it up and accept that your $10 first date policy isn’t cutting it. Time to break open the wallet and pull yourself together. Congrats, you stay in shape or you’re pretty or you have a job. Whoopee. You’re hardly unique. If you want people to notice you or take you seriously you have to present yourself in a certain way.

If you’re surrounded by people who bring more to the table, and at any given time you probably are, then you need to either up your game in some way and/or go where people want what you can offer. If you aren’t willing to do either, then you need to accept the reality of your situation quickly and learn to adapt.



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12 Responses to “Why Do So Many Guys Flake After One Date?”

  1. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    My advice: enjoy the dates now, because in three weeks you’ll be writing in asking how come no one is no longer looking at your profile.

  2. Donnie K Says:

    Three dates a week on a consistent basis is a lot. What can end up happening is that burnout sets in. Most times, the person doesn’t even realize it. There is something to be said for expectations. If over 90% of your first dates are failing it could be that you’re giving off some sort of vibe. There’s a fine line between feeling first dates are no big deal and being desensitized to the process.

  3. Nicki Says:

    I feel like if you went on less first dates then you might end up going on more second dates. That probably makes no sense. I am assuming that (as Moxie said), you’re going out with anyone who asks. You’re not being the least bit selective and you’re probably not always not into them once you’re in front of them. We’re not stupid. We all know when someone isn’t into us or the date. That’s probably leading to less second dates right off the bat. Then you factor in guys who would simply never be into you anyway and you end up with no second dates. Less is actually more. :-)

  4. D. Says:

    I second the above advice.

    It could be that a few different things are happening.

    1. You might be giving off a vibe of disinterest. 3 dates a week may leave you feeling like “Whatever. It’s just a date.” And that may come across as a lack of engagement or excitement on the date. When a guy senses that a woman isn’t into him, he’s not likely to “chase” her. Instead, he’ll just move on to greener pastures. So, if you’re coming across as not the least bit excited, he’ll figure “She didn’t seem that into me. I’m not gonna waste my time.”

    2. On the flipside, you might be coming across as desperate or be giving off a “husband hunting” vibe. I suspect this is less likely, but it can happen. If you’ve been single a while, or dating intensely over a long period, the guy may get the sense that you don’t really dig him, you just want someone and he’ll do. This can happen to anyone who really wants to find a relationship or love or something, when they’ve been having a string of bad luck. They’ll come across as overeager, which usually translates as desperation and being not at all about the other person.

    Dial back how often you go out. Be a little more picky about who you’ll go out with. Or maybe just…take a break for a bit from the online thing, and focus on doing other stuff you enjoy. When you go back to it, you may feel rejuvenated.

  5. BostonRobin Says:

    A thousand “thumbs up” to this post. OkStupid, as I call it, is all about quantity over quality. Strangely enough, there are plenty of time wasters on Match as well, but not nearly as many, since the clock is ticking for them on their subscription. They’re not going to stick around if they’re on the fence about you like the “Stupids” do.

    Nothing to lose, nothing to offer. Free and worth every penny. Wow, I could go on all day with the catty slogans. Sorry, it’s just that after looking back over the past few years, you know how they say to look for the common denominator in your relationships? What do you know, I met the WORST of them on OkCupid. Complete opposite on Match: pretty much all good and decent, even had a nice relationship out of it. And I use pretty much the same photos and text in both profiles!

    I use the site but it’s mostly for publicity–Boston’s a small town and it does help to get the word out about being single and looking in this manner. But I concentrate most of my efforts on Match.

    But enough about me: LW, three dates a week sounds dizzying. I’m ready for a nap just thinking about it. Try staying in a bit more and taking care of yourself. Gym, yoga, that sort of thing? Places where you might meet people in 3D? Vett them more and you’ll end up with better candidates.

  6. maria Says:

    like others said, 3 dates a week is a lot!! I know, because I was dating very similarly to you also in NYC a while back. It was beyond exhausting. I burned out to the point where I did not date at all for like 6 months and focused on going to therapy and working on myself, building my self confidence, my interests, connecting with my friends etc and once I was ready, I decided to be a lot more picky with who I went out with.

    I didn’t take getting that many dates as some big flattering compliment mind you, because basically, I was dating anybody who was decent and asked. I didn’t date any red flag waving psychos, just normal guys who I knew wouldn’t be interested or were “out of my league” etc. Once I scaled way back to like one or 2 a month and did a lot of work on myself, I noticed the quality of the dates got a lot better. they all led to second or third dates whereas during my marathon dating, almost none of those did. in hindsight the idea of going on 2 or 3 dates a week ever again gives me serious anxiety. its not fun. scale back, work on yourself and you’ll be ok!

  7. RC Says:

    Dear OP,
    I think most single women in their early to mid-thirties who spend some time on dating sites have had similar experiences.
    I started off on OKC going for quantity over quality. It’s just a date, right? The more people you meet the better your chances, right? That was my philosophy and I was WRONG. And while I call OKC affectionately, OKStupid (try it with a Brooklyn accent), I met my husband on it.

    I owe it all to a good friend who after hearing my horrible 1st date stories and reading my profile told me to re-write it completely, be brutally honest and not 2-dimensional in my profile. The change in OKC suitor behavior was almost immediate – from 10-20 emails daily (99% were red flag filled time-wasters) I went to maybe an email a day if that. But the quality improvement was drastic and interestingly enough, I immediately felt better about myself. Getting a lot of low quality interest makes you question your self-worth after a while… Thus, getting very few quality emails and actually being interested in meeting them was a breath of fresh air and good for one’s self-esteem too.

    It’s ok to not be everyone’s cup of tea both online and offline.
    You are who you are, and by mid-thirties unlikely to be able to change drastically for a partner – so be honest with who you are (don’t be mean to yourself), what you offer and what you want (reality check here is needed – the prince on the white horse will not appear – we are all not perfect, and by mid-thirties if your prince is still looking for you, I guarantee you his horse is long dead and his frock might be slightly disheveled and it’s ok, good even, ‘cause it makes him real).

    Good luck!

  8. Fyodor Says:

    I don’t disagree that online dating is a low yield effort, but not hearing back from 98 percent is a lot. I’m curious how her dates go. Does she feel like she clicks with them? Do they seem to have a good time? Is there some big discrepancy between her appearance in her profile and in real life?

  9. bbdawg Says:

    Been there, OP…I just think both men and women have so many options that the only reason for a second date is if there is REAL, palpable chemistry, possibility of good sex and interest…I think also many of us women give off the “I’m a Catch” vibe…making it a difficult road with no takers as a result.

  10. Letty Says:

    I can understand where the op is coming from, been there done that, it was not good at all. My reasons not to get into online dating ever again.

  11. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “While it’s not abnormal to have many one off first dates that lead no where, it is atypical to have that many not lead to a second date. So something is off.”

    Well, part of that is OKC attracting more than its share of flakes, but even in that muddy pool, it’s pretty bad. For dates I’ve met in person or from better-quality sites, I’d estimate 1/3 of first dates turn into second dates, 1/3 of second dates turn into third dates, etc.

    “I think 2 dates a week with two different people is pushing it.”

    Well, it depends on how busy someone is on weeknights; some people can easily manage 3 or even 4, whereas some folks are so busy they couldn’t pull off even 2. And keep in mind that at least one of those dates should be a follow-up from the previous week’s, so they won’t all be new people every week, and that makes it easier.

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